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Stess in the Japanese Culture

November 18, 2009

I came across a very interesting article titled Men in Search of Healing Turn to Tea Ceremonies. The article explains how many business men in Japan are trying these tea ceremonies in order to relieve stress. These ceremonies are typically used as part of pre-marriage training for women. Now these ceremonies have become popular for men on their way home from work looking for some healing from their stressful day. One Japanese male states “The classroom is totally a different world after a hard day’s work. It is a precious time for me to feel at peace.’” The reason I found this article so interesting was because it reminded me exactly of My. Sugiyama in Shall We Dance. Dance became a way of relieving him from the stressful day at the office and the pressure of supporting a family. The pressure is so intense for Japanese men, they are not even ashamed of attending predominantly female activities because they are so relaxing. Some might not agree with me, but it seemed as though Mr. Sugiyama became less ashamed of his for dancing because of the way it took away a lot of his stress at work.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. szimmerman3 permalink
    November 19, 2009 8:21 pm

    I think this is a great connection between the current culture and the movie. Tea time has always been known as a female activity so I can understand why men would be embarrassed to have tea in public just as they would be shy to dance in public. Overall, it seems as though movies like Shall We Dansu and this new tea obsession are the foreshadowing a changing culture in Japan.

  2. November 22, 2009 6:43 pm

    Nice post, Randall. Nice to see you make the connection with the movie. Here is another: our history chapter reminds us that the great warrior leaders of the Kamakura and Ashikaga periods were the same who built gardens for quiet contemplation. Among the samurai’s favorite pursuits, when not involved in a skirmish, was assembling to write and share poetry. One issue, then, is whether this practice in seeking out ‘softer’ activities during leisure time is actually an indicator of a move toward modernity or a link to previous times. This might be a wonderful topic for a paper.

    By the way, notice that this article itself comes from Kyodo news service. I’m hoping we will visit its headquarters. The story is on the site of Japan Today, an English-language portal that has won quite a following. Note the comments. You can always find some disagreement in the Japan Today comments sections on how to interpret Japanese (and foreigner) practices.

  3. Ashley Barnas permalink
    December 5, 2009 1:56 am

    That’s so interesting! I love to unwind by drinking tea and I’ve been to a few tea ceremonies in China and afternoon teas in London. They’re such nice and formal events and give great insight into the culture of other countries.

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